Here Are Michigan’s Top Instagram-Worthy Spots

Here in Michigan, we have countless destinations to visit, which all provide a great opportunity for you to take that perfect Instagram photo. And while we think every Pure Michigan destination is spectacular, there are a few that truly stand out.

Read below for 7 Instagram-worthy destinations across Pure Michigan and remember to follow us on Instagram!

1. Empire Bluffs

Empire, located on the coast of Lake Michigan in Northwest Michigan, defines the term hidden gem. With its soaring bluffs and breathtaking views, Empire is the gateway to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where you’ll find helpful rangers who can help you find all there is to know about the formation of the dunes as well as point you in the right direction for hiking trails, beaches and scenic drives. Empire Bluffs offer an unbeatable view of Lake Michigan, and is a favorite picture-taking spot for Michigan residents and visitors alike. Click here to read more on Empire.

EmpireBluffs3

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @sarahmurfy

 2. Porcupine Mountains

If you’re looking for an unforgettable camping trip, venture to the western region of the Upper Peninsula. Towering virgin timbers, secluded lakes and miles of wild rivers are what you can expect to find in the rugged Porcupine Mountains. Here, you can camp on the shores of Lake Superior and enjoy sunsets from your site after exploring more than 90 miles of foot trails. During the winter, the area is perfect for Alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.  For animal lovers, the ‘Porkies’ are designated as an official Michigan Wildlife Viewing Area and offer a pet-friendly shoreline.

It's hard to find a sight more spectacular than the Porcupine Mountains in Fall

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @catchupandrelish

 3. Turnip Rock

If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing Turnip Rock via Lake Huron, we insist that you head there immediately. This enormous rock received its turnip connotation from thousands of years of erosion from storm waves. Now, it’s an island with a few trees and little other vegetation. The land nearby is all privately owned, so the only way to view it is by kayak or trekking across frozen Lake Huron in the winter. While in the Port Austin area, be sure to check out Port Crescent State Park, one of three dark sky preserves in Michigan, where you can catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Read more on what it’s like kayaking to Turnip Rock here.

Turnip Rock, located on the shores of Lake Huron, is as iconic as any location in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @forehand67

 4. Silver Lake Sand Dunes

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are a beach-lover’s paradise. Nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan and Silver Lake, you’ll find massive sand dunes, beach buggies—with the only sand dunes in Michigan where you can drive your own ORV—and miles of pristine shoreline beaches designed for family fun. Encompassing the towns of Hart, Mears, and Pentwater, Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area is the perfect spot for a family vacation with miles of tree-lined bike trails, historic towns, a lighthouse and more. Spend the morning on the dunes, the afternoon in the water and finish your day in one of our charming villages for a relaxing dinner at a locally owned restaurant. Ready to plan your trip? Read more about the Silver Lake Sand Dunes here.

Rev up your engines and head to the iconic Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @Izzca

 5. Tahquamenon Falls

One of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, the Upper Falls has a drop of nearly 50 feet and is more than 200 feet across. If you travel a little farther in Tahquamenon Falls State Park, you’ll discover  the Lower Falls, a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island.  The State Park offers for four campgrounds with modern & rustic campsites and more than 40 miles of hiking trails, 13 inland lakes and approximately 20,000 acres of natural area. Winter offers opportunity for snowmobiling, cross country skiing and snowshoeing with miles of marked trails.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a must-see for residents and visitors alike

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @kammtheguy

 6. Mackinac Bridge

The Mighty Mack. The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere with 7,400 feet of roadway suspended in the air over the straits of Mackinac and unites Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. Total length of the bridge, including its approaches, is approximately five miles. Crossing the Mackinac Bridge should be on everyone’s Pure Michigan bucket list. Want to see some truly breathtaking views from atop the bridge? Click here.

The mighty Mackinac Bridge is the perfect place to snap a photo

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @MikeConnick

7. Detroit Skyline

Detroit is truly on a comeback. Everywhere you look, there are new restaurants, retail and businesses rejuvenating the downtown. Come to Detroit to experience the eclectic nightlife and theater scenes and the high-energy streets with year-round festivals.

The Detroit skyline is beautiful no matter the weather or season

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @AndrewJones111

When in the metro Detroit area, you can take a step back in time and explore the world-famous cultural attraction that is the Henry Ford, the western hemisphere’s largest polar bear exhibit and world’s largest penguin conservation center at the Detroit Zoo or find the kid in you at Lego Land and the Sea Life Michigan aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, which features thousands of aquatic, creates and interactive touch pools. Read more on the revitalization of the Motor City here.

Honorable mention: The Blue Water Bridge, Michigan Theater, Keweenaw Peninsula and the Michigan Capitol Building (and many, many others!).

Where have you taken an awe-inspiring photo in Michigan? Share with us by commenting below!

Empire: Small Town, Big View, Big Heart

Have you ever heard of Empire? Many outside of Michigan probably have not. Locals can even be found bragging about Empire’s slow pace of life in the heart of the awe-inspiring Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Real people of all walks of life (just shy of 400 of them) live year ‘round in Empire, more come just for the summer. And who can blame them?

Empire Bluffs is one of the most popular photo-taking spots in all of Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Experience 231

It’s one of those places you think just exists in stories. Stunning natural beauty in all four seasons, friendly shop owners selling gourmet chocolate, freshwater surf boards and bikes, antiques, local art and of course, great burgers, whitefish, perch and ice cream. But there’s something about the people and environment here that draws you in and makes you never want to go back home. The community is known for working hard together to make a living while at the same time enjoying themselves, creating a quirky community and not taking life too seriously.

These are the people who cut a big hole in the ice in February and jump in and come together to celebrate spring’s coming and its first local crop with the renowned Empire Asparagus Festival. Parades in Empire “are so nice, they go around twice.” All we’ve got is time some days so why not?

There's incredible beauty to be found in Empire no matter the season

There’s incredible beauty to be found in Empire no matter the season

Locals migrate west down to the public beach right on Lake Michigan for sunsets in the summer, almost the latest one in the eastern time zone. After looking for the infamous green flash as the sun dips below the horizon, bonfires are built and people gather to sing songs of Great Lakes pirates, rogue waves and the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Surely you’ll come for the incredible Lake Michigan waves to surf, shallows of North Bar, Platte or Otter Creek to play all day and possibly pick up a skim board habit, miles of epic trail to hike, bike, ski or horseback ride and the incredibly legendary vistas of Dunes and Caribbean-like azure and emerald water, but it’s the people you’ll meet in the businesses and walking down the street that will get you wondering, “people get to live here too? Lucky.”

The beaches of Sleeping Bear Dunes are truly breathtaking

Photo Courtesy of Chris Arace

So don’t just tell your friends about the green flash, the parade that goes around twice or the miles of sugar sand beach…experience it for yourself.

What do you love most about Empire? Share with us by commenting below!

Pure Michigan June 2013 Fan Photos

Happy July! Summer is officially here in Pure Michigan! Since everyone has been out enjoying the warmer weather, we wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite photos from June. Below is a gallery of just some of the stunning photos that our Pure Michigan Facebook community shared with us last month. See more on the Pure Michigan Flickr page.

Which photo from June is your favorite? If you have a photo to share with us, visit the Pure Michigan Facebook page and post it there.